7.1/10
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14 user 7 critic

Believe in Me (2006)

PG | | Drama, Sport | 6 February 2006 (USA)
In a conservative small town, a young man's wish to coach high school basketball are tweaked by a school board decision that makes him the new coach of the girls' team.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Clay Driscoll
...
Jean Driscoll
...
Ellis Brawley
...
Hugh Moreland
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Myerson
Pamela Atherton ...
Ruth Selman
...
Pat Thompson
...
(Voice) Basketball TV Announcer
Paula Criss ...
...
Sadie York (as Marta McGonagle)
...
Popular Girl
Camilla DeRamus ...
Mrs. Johnson
...
Liz Blair
Sean Dugan ...
The Heckler
...
Jim Stovall
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Storyline

Girls? The thought of coaching them seems preposterous to Clay Driscoll (earnest newcomer Jeffrey Donovan), who travels to Middleton, Okla., in the 1960s prepared to coach the varsity boys' team. But that position is filled, so he's forced to coach the girls' team -- the Lady Cyclones. Faced with an under-performing crew of untrained players, the coach begins to treat the girls like boys. They run laps in a closed gym and practice shots and plays they've never tried before -- and eventually their "old-fashioned grit" leads them to a Cinderella season culminating with the state championships. Along their way, Driscoll and the girls overcome several obstacles, most of all, gaining a fan base. Meanwhile, big man in town Ellis Brawley (Bruce Dern) can't stand Driscoll and his newfangled idea of empowering female athletes. Of course, the Lady Cyclones are up to the task of proving Brawley wrong. Driven by their caring young coach, the girls determine to play as hard as the boys, even ... Written by Froshi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Never let them tell you what you can't do.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

6 February 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$81,569 (USA) (9 March 2007)

Gross:

$208,565 (USA) (30 March 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the towns in the movie, including the town of Middleton, are made up but based on actual towns. The town of Middleton is based on the western-Oklahoma town of Sayre. The towns of Okeene, Byng, and Lawton are real, while the towns of Dellaplaine, Medfield, and Placerita are made-up. See more »

Goofs

Girls did not play full-court basketball at that time in history: girls' basketball in Oklahoma was a half-court, 3-on-3 game until the mid 1980's. See more »

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User Reviews

 
charming, uplifting
8 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just saw a screening of this independent film at the Santa Barbara film festival. The screenplay is an adaptation of a novel written for juveniles, Brief Garland, by Harold Keith, which was first published in 1974.

The film focuses on the character of the coach of a girls' basketball team in a small town in western Oklahoma during his first years at the school in 1964-66. He arrives to coach the boys team, but is maneuvered into the coaching job for the girls. Over the course of the film, he learns how to coach the girls, and helps develop a competitive team at a school where girls' basketball had never been supported before.

I watched the film with particular interest because I played high school basketball in 1964-68 in Tennessee, where, as in Oklahoma, we played the six-on-six half-court game that most girls played until after Title IX was passed in 1972. I was disappointed to see that the girls in the film played the full-court five-on-five game, which is slower, messier, and lower-scoring than the half-court game we played. By playing with fewer players, the court was less crowded, and girls had more freedom to drive to the basket. Since defenders made long passes to move the ball upcourt to the offensive team, the speed from end to end was actually faster than the boys' game!!

Had the film's auteur truly appreciated the game that the heroines of the film actually played in the sixties, he may have created an even more exciting film, with less forced editing to simulate speed and grace.

I know, I know, you don't believe me. Oh well . . . .


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